F1 Canada Quali Results & Full Report: Hamilton on Pole, Red Bulls Close but Not Close Enough in Montreal

What Happens When the Streak Has to End Sometime

2:07pm EST —Lewis Hamilton won pole for the 2010 Canadian GP, with heavy fighting amongst four teams for the honor during qualifying. This is the first race of the season to start without a Red Bull on pole. Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, and Jenson Button will round out the top five starters. TOnio Liuzzi outqualified teammate Adrian Sutil in sixth, with the German in ninth as Felipe Massa and Robert Kubica split the two Force Indias in seventh and eighth. Nico Rosberg will start ninth, out-qualifying his teammate, with a surprisingly bad qualifying from Michael Schumacher, who will start thirteenth after not making it out of Q2.

Lewis Hamilton was fastest in the final practice session, which was marked by a most boring half hour of F1 practice, as no one ran more than an installation lap for the first thirty minutes or so. Mark Webber posted the second fastest time, nearly three tenths off the McLaren’s pace in the final session before qualifying. Fernando Alonso continued the Ferrari’s bettered pace as third fastest with Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel rounding out the fastest five. Jenson Button was eighth while Felipe Massa ended the session twelfth fastest. Schumacher’s Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg spent much of the session in the garage with a clutch problem and only managed eighteenth in the final moments of the session.

It was the new teams out first in Q1, though Vitaly Petrov joined them for some early running. Despite worries that the weather might not cooperate, the sun was shining and no rain was forecast to dampen the track for quali. Lucas di Grassi was able to run after the Virgin Racing team got his damaged car fixed after a hit at the end of the final practice Saturday morning. Early pace went to Jarno Trulli’s Lotus, despite running from Petrov and Rubens Barrichello. The Italian was soon supplanted by Alguersuari, and then Alonso for the top position as the front runners finally began posting times nearly halfway through the session.

Ten minutes into the twenty minute session and Hamilton led Liuzzi, Webber, Petrov, and Alonso as the fastest five while Kubica, who had yet to post a time, joined the new teams in the knockout zone. He immediately went to ninth fastest on his first flying lap. With five minutes left, some drivers began returning to the circuit after adjustments in the garage. Hamilton led Vettel, Alonso, Rosberg, and Button as the fastest five while Kobayashi joined the new teams in the knockout zone, nine tenths faster than nineteenth fastest Kovalainen. The top eleven remained in the garage with three and a half minutes to go. By this point, Hamilton had become the first man of the weekend to enter the 1:15s range. Kubica had displaced Button as fifth fastest, but it was the latter half of the field that mattered in getting through to Q2. At the end, though, it was again Kobayashi who was knocked out, out-qualifying Kovalainen on his final lap after Heikki had beaten him on his own final lap. Chandhok was nine and a half seconds behind Kobayashi after having posted only three laps.

Knocked Out at the end of Q1:
18. Kobayashi 1:18.019
19. Kovalainen 1:18.237
20. Trulli 1:18.698
21. Glock 1:18.941
22. Senna 1:19.484
23. di Grassi 1:19.675
24.Chandhok 1:27.757

Petrov was the first away for Q2, with all but Hamilton, Alguersuari, and de la Rosa on the circuit before two minutes had gone in the session with most, if not all, on the softer option tire. Times were soon posted, but not until Webber posted a 1:16.292 and then Vettel 1:16.163 were they representative. Hamilton overtook the Red Bulls, and then Alonso his former teammate, with Kubica leading Alonso, Webber, Hamilton, and Vettel as the fastest five with ten minutes left in Q2. Vettel soon overtook the Pole’s time (with the top three all in the 1:15s range), while Barrichello, Petrov, Alguersuari, Buemi, Hulkenberg, and de las Rosa were in the knockout zone.

With five minutes left, the top five had swapped places many a time. Hamilton led Vettel, Kubica, Alonso, and Rosebrg as the fastest five while Schumacher in tenth was in danger of being dropped. Liuzzi, Barrichello, Petrov, Algruersuari, Buemi, de la Rosa, and Hulkenberg were in the knockout zone. Every driver was on track with four minutes left. Button was in ninth with two minutes left; Schumacher still in tenth as some of the middle-ranked drivers switched positions but remained safe. Webber pitted from fourth to end his session, likely, safely in the garage while Button had dropped into eleventh. He rose to seventh, putting Schumacher in eleventh. Hamilton pitted from first, as Massa did from tenth, Alonso from third, and Sutil from ninth. Schumacher was dropped to thirteenth with a mistake in the final chicane as both Williams drivers out-qualified him, but were also knocked out. It was Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso, Kubica, and Webber as the fastest five at the end of Q2.

Knocked Out at the end of Q2:
11. Barrichello 1:16.434
12. Hulkenberg 1:16.438
13. Schumacher 1:16.493
14. Petrov 1:16.844
15. Buemi 1:16.928
16. Alguersuari 1:17.029
17. de la Rosa 1:17.384

It looked as though no one wanted to be the first out, with the McLarens finally heading off to the circuit on the soft tires a minute into the session. They remained the sole occupants of the track (as Ferrari noted, “it is possible that many people will do only one run”) until Alonso also began his running two minutes later. Then came the Red Bulls, with Rosberg and Sutil the only men not running with six minutes left. Hamilton posted the fastest time of the weekend, a 1:15.500, while Button was nearly a second slower. No other times had been posted as the McLarens returned to the garage with the session halfway gone.

The first times set by the Red Bulls were well off the pace and put them into fourth and fifth, with both running on the harder tire. Webber soon moved up to second, just four tenths off Hamilton. With three minutes left, Hamilton led Webber, Massa, Alonso, Button, Liuzzi, Vettel, Kubica, Rosberg, and Sutil. Alonso moved up to second, only to be replaced again by Webber. With two mintues left, the times were dropping, but the order wasn’t changing as much as might be expected. It was Hamilton, Webber, Alonso, then Webber, Alonso, Hamilton as Liuzzi moved up to fourth with less than a minute left. As the clocked ticked down, it looked as though the top three might have time for yet another lap, as the top four remained the same. Liuzzi pitted from fourth as Massa moved up to sixth. Vettel caught second as Hamilton began a flying lap as the last man able to cross the line despite being the first one out for the session. That lap gave him pole, the first one of the season not going to a Red Bull.

Final Starting Positions for the 2010 Canadian GP:
1. Hamilton 1:15.105
2. Webber 1:15.373
3. Vettel 1:15.420
4. Alonso 1:15.435
5. Button 1:15.520
6. Liuzzi 1:15.648
7. Massa 1:15.688
8. Kubica 1:15.715
9. Sutil 1:15.881
10. Rosberg 1:16.071


1 Comment

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